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Ask Dr. Craig!: Pulmonary Embolism & Bronchiolitis

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BellaNaija is pleased to announce a new column for our special readers – ‘Ask Dr. Craig!Dr. Craig is a BellaNaija columnist and one of the doctors who writes for BN Doctors’ Lounge {Get familiar here}. The idea behind ‘Ask Dr. Craig!’ is for BN readers to get quick sharp answers to niggling medical issues that they have. This does not in anyway mean that readers should not go to their doctors. However, sometimes you just need a human face to give answers to those fast, burning medical concerns our readers have.

Send your questions for Dr. Craig to features(at)bellanaija(dot)com stating your full name and where you are writing from. (Your name will never be published) The editor reserves the right to edit submissions for content brevity and clarity. We regret that we cannot provide individual answers to questions sent in and cannot state at which exact date answers would be published.
We hope that people will find help by reading and sharing. We look forward to reading your emails and tweets with questions for Dr. Craig.

Please enjoy the first edition and let us know what you think!

***

Dear Dr. Craig,
One of my very close friends died suddenly recently. She was only 26. She was a paragon of health, had no illnesses whatsoever and we her friends used to call her ‘queen fit-fam’. So you can imagine how devastated we were on her passing. She had just returned that morning from a holiday in America and was hale and hearty. A few hours later she started complaining of pain in her chest and by that evening she was dead. The doctors mentioned something about a blood clot but I don’t understand- Aren’t those only in old people?
I thought you doctors said we should eat right and exercise to live longer. She did all that, and for what? No benefit at all! If she could die so suddenly what would happen to those of us who have a few extra pounds? Would we just drop dead like flies?
Not-so-fit-fam. Trans-Amadi, P.H

Dear Not-so fit-fam,

Please accept my deepest condolences on the passing of your friend. May her soul rest in perfect peace. Even though the details you have given are broad and non specific, It seems to me that your friend most likely suffered what we call a Pulmonary Embolism or PE.

Blood is a complex fluid that is alive with billions of cells flowing at high speed in our blood vessels. If for any reason, the flow of blood is obstructed or the speed at which it flows is reduced significantly, then there is an increased tendency for the blood to clot just as it would if it were outside the body. When blood clots within the vessels it is called a thrombus. Most thrombi are small and may cause no problems but if the thrombus is large, it can detach and get carried by the blood to distant sites and is now called an embolus. Emboli formed in large vessels are particularly dangerous because they can potentially get stuck in smaller vessels in virtually any part of the body and block its blood supply.

In Pulmonary embolism, a variety of risk factors cause a thrombus to form in the leg and is subsequently carried away in the blood to the chest where it blocks the blood supply to the lungs and if not treated can rapidly lead to death. One of the most significant risk factors for the possible development of PE in your friend is her having returned from a long haul flight. The prolonged immobility occasioned by flying long distances causes blood to pool in the calves and this predisposes to clot formation. Other risk factors are oral contraceptive pills, Pregnancy, pervious history of blood clots (deep vein thrombosis) and other causes of prolonged immobility.

Blood stasis can easily be prevented on long haul flights by doing the simple lower limb exercises and stretches found in the wellbeing section of most in-flight magazines.

Exercise and healthy eating are VERY important and do help keep the body healthy and boost immunity. PLEASE don’t give up either because of this unfortunate turn of events. Studies have proven that you can add decades to your life by taking good care of your health and maintaining a healthy diet and body weight.

Warm regards,
Dr. Craig

***

Dear Dr. Craig,
My 7month old son has been coughing, wheezing and finding it difficult to breathe.
His father used to be asthmatic as a child but has outgrown it and I was wondering if maybe my son could be asthmatic too? A friend told me that weaning him early and feeding him with infant formula can reduce the likelihood of him having asthma. Is this true?
Asthma Worries. Lekki, Lagos

Dear Asthma Worries,
I understand your concern about asthma in your son, especially seeing that your husband had it as a child. However, 7 months is a bit too early to diagnose asthma in a child even with a positive family history of asthma or atopy in the father. The reason why I say this is because many other conditions can mimic asthma in the under-fives and these are more common than confirmed asthma cases in early childhood. One of the more common cases is called Bronchiolitis and this is usually a viral infection of the lower respiratory tract and can give the same symptoms as asthma. Also, a simple case of nasal congestion caused by catarrh or foreing bodies like beads placed in the nose by the child,can cause difficulty in breathing and produce whistle-like noises from the nose that can be mistaken for a wheeze. This is not to say, however, that younger children cannot have asthma.

Your friend is terribly wrong. On the contrary, staying on breast milk longer is actually better for preventing asthma because it contains important antibodies that are passed on from mother to child and studies have shown that infant formula made from cow’s milk is highly allergenic and can actually predispose susceptible infants to asthma.

If you can, have your son seen by a Respiratory Paediatrician and they can then decide if he will benefit from allergen testing to determine what his risks are and may also give a trial of asthma medication to measure his response to treament. In the meantime, keep him warm and avoid exposure to dust, pollen, pet dander (ie. Cats, dogs) and other known triggers.

I hope he feels better soon.
Warm regards,
Dr. Craig

Disclaimer: This column is written for patient education. It is not intended to diagnose or prescribe treatment and does not replace the advice of your physician. It in no means attempts to cover the full medical scope of this condition.

___________________________________________________________________________________
David Olamide Craig is a Physician, Pastor, Photographer, Poet and Playwright. He graduated Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Ibadan and holds a Masters in Occupational Health from the Institute of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Birmingham. He is passionate about healthy living and sustainable energy.
When he is not seeing patients, Dr. Craig spends his time stretched out on his favourite couch, reading books, magazines, and blogs.
Find him on twitter @RevDrCraig

34 Comments

  1. mrs chidukane

    June 11, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Please Dr. Craig I have a single sister oh *batting eyelashes furiously * You’re too cute for singlehood, lol!

    • Miss Anonymous

      June 11, 2014 at 10:56 pm

      Thank you o! This Dr is too hot abeg!

    • ola

      June 11, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      Errrr abeg Dr Craig is engaged o.. lol

  2. Queen E

    June 11, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Oh well, helloooo Dr.! To be honest my brain couldn’t analyse the article just your picture. But BN sef your marketing strategy though… too cute!

  3. Author Unknown

    June 11, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Great initiative Bella Naija. A healthy BNer is afterall a wealthy one 🙂 Perhaps you could look into introducing a legal column for sometime in the future – for things as matrimonial, employment, and contracts law.

    PS: Dr. Craig, be ready to be bombarded by letters asking for your hand in marriage. LOL.

  4. Aibee

    June 11, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Yay! Rev. Craig is back. Welcome Back. Thank you for the explanation on Pulmonary Embolism. If I remember correctly, that’s what led to Goldie’s death a couple of years ago. May sound silly but please, Dr. Craig, does pins and needles (paja-paja) predispose one to embolisms? I tend to get them in my calves and thighs when I’ve been sitting in one spot for a long time, especially when I’m wearing or have recently worn high heels.

    And yes BN, I like this new series. Hopefully, people will send in questions and Dr. Craig will have time to respond so this series can be regular.

    • Bleed Blue

      June 11, 2014 at 4:09 pm

      Y’all BN commenters have finished me with laughter! 🙂 As soon as I saw the photo, I knew it would garner more of a reaction than the article itself.

      To be honest Aibee, with the flavour of comments here, I don’t even know whether you really mean it with this pins and needles thing or you’re just wanting the good doctor to erm…check your thighs…like our hilarious sister Blossom below.

      I can’t stop laughing oh! 🙂

    • Aibee

      June 11, 2014 at 6:18 pm

      Lol @ wanting Dr. Craig to check my thighs. Dr. Craig is fine, I admit, but my question is purely for medical purposes!

    • DocDeola

      June 11, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      Sorry, Goldie’s was brain haemorrhage, most likely subarachnoid haemorrhage…remember sudden onset ‘hammer in the back of head/thunderclap headache’.
      As for doctor, I did several electives at UCH…didn’t manage to have the fortune of bumping into Dr Craig…lol…besides, all those UI med girls for don kill me…anyway I digress!

  5. Blossom

    June 11, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Dr Craig, I really need you to check me.

    You get warram sayin’? 😉

  6. deb

    June 11, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Hahahahah. Lamide Craig, has been a cute man for long years. From the days of VHF in UI and medical school. He is also the son of late ace broadcaster Yinka Craig. Well done but pls next time write a short article in this format. A. Problem. B Cause. C Prevention. D. Cure. E Management. In very short and precise words. Thank you

  7. chica

    June 11, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    i dnt tink i jst read that article cuz i kept staring at pastor craig.lol

  8. laide

    June 11, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    As soon as I saw that picture up there , I scrolled down to see if BN got it from another website… I dont think so. DR CRaig, my heart has been irregularly since I opened this page…please where is your hospital?

    *just kidding* BN thanks for this new column, very informative.

  9. kemi

    June 11, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    heheheh Dr Craig! How can i read and digest this article?? You are too damn cute!
    Bella Naija when are you going to start hooking beautiful, hardworking and single sisters like me up? lol . pls start thinking of an initiative o! lol
    *coughs* ahem have a great day DR CRAIG!!!

  10. modella

    June 11, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Would have prefer if guestions and answers will be given in the comment section

  11. Vegas

    June 11, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Note to BN if you want people to take the content seriously avoid putting Mr Olamide’s picture up with every article, because you will start some uneccesary stalking.As a fellow physcian here, i think the format should be written in simplier formats.(just saying).the message will get across one time.Nice stuff.

    • DocDeola

      June 11, 2014 at 8:36 pm

      Lol u are so right….pulmonary emoblism aka blood clots in legs…bronchiolitis aka chestiness/wheeziness…we are not allowed to use medical jargon whilst talking to patients, plus the pics are quite complex, that’s why the ladies were staring at his beatific pictures more than the explanations?!
      But kudos on the health promotion – excellent direction

  12. CHY

    June 11, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    DOC. Don’t listen to d ladies, they are playing with u. Pls can u educate us ladies on Bartholin’s cyst. i just got mine removed last week and am shocked that some health practitioners i went to had no idea what was wrong with me. i was lucky to find one who did and it was surgically removed. i am just shocked now to know that most ladies are suffering from it but had no idea what is wrong with them just like me or how to deal with it, while some are too ashamed to complain to anyone thereby suffering from pain silently. pls say something about it and i will appreciate it. thanks.

  13. damn....

    June 11, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    dr,do u know what i can do with your lips?see,we will make cute babies…see,i promise never to stress you.how old are you biko?i can feel it in my blood…you are the one for me!okbye

  14. Amh

    June 11, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Sexy doctor. Cant stop laughing at the comments. Wishful thinking. Great job bellanaija. Pls introduce the legal talk as well. Bella (smiling) kindly remove his pic pls before the girls turn to stalkers. Stil laughing.

  15. LamLam

    June 11, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    hehehehehehehehehe! d comments sha! Dr craig see what ur cute face has caused. well my qst is why are u so cute? plus i tink u re d mr ryt that has bin existing only in my dreams for many yrs now lol!

  16. Aunty Prada

    June 11, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Dr. Craig, I am feeling faint and need some mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Please help out asap!

    • mrs chidukane

      June 11, 2014 at 11:49 pm

      Kai! Desperate chicks ehiela nne!!! No be small thing oh. Please Bella that pic is too distracting abeg remove it. Also, the cellulite pic has made my body itch since I saw it. It’s too disturbing please.

    • Bleed Blue

      June 12, 2014 at 8:43 am

      @mrs chidukane…then you, like me, have got what is known as trypophobia. I also almost tore off my skin when I saw that cellulite photo.

      And just in case you’ve never heard of trypophobia and want to google it, please DO NOT! The images on google can send a true sufferer into an epileptic fit 🙁

    • ada1

      June 12, 2014 at 11:01 am

      oh! bleed blue, i should’ve listened to you. the images are horrible! jeez!

  17. jcsgrl

    June 11, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    OMG!!! I haff died o…these comments tho. Babes are too funny. I can just imagine the kind oh so foine Doc grinning shyly, curling his lips adjusting his shirt as he reads these comments. Abeg keep it coming you all are making my day

  18. Dr. N

    June 11, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Aha! I knew smelling salts would be needed once I saw d pic. Easy, ladies. Didn’t u notice he is a Rev? Lol. Pls read my post “Are male doctors sexy?”. Hahaha @ d comments again. drnsmusings.wordpress.com

  19. Wienna

    June 11, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Dear doctor, I’m suffering from heartache.

    Is it me or does he look like Omar Epps?

  20. tammy

    June 11, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    Be still my beating heart, fans self.

  21. ivie

    June 14, 2014 at 2:32 am

    These comments though…lol.

  22. Idak

    June 16, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    This article no be ordinary eye o!
    Forget Pulmonary Embolism & Bronchiolitis. Na Broken heart and Lacerated souls this guy dey cure.
    At least your true patients are lining up.
    Kai! BN no go kill me.

  23. Chinco

    June 17, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Cant stop laughing at the comments…keep up the good job lamide Craig

  24. DeeBee

    June 30, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Nice one Lamide, representing brownites and UCH…

  25. Inspired

    October 23, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Does PE have any symptoms?

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